What changes can I make - I'd like a set bedtime - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-21-2011, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS turned 12 months last week. He's pretty much always been a night owl (I am not). He can easily stay up until almost midnight. I usually nurse him to sleep, or we take him for a drive or a walk to get him to go to sleep (naps and nighttime).

 

We've tried to get him to sleep earlier (8pm) but he treats it as a nap and is back up within 45 minutes to an hour. He also wakes up late in the mornings. It's 9:30am and he's still sleeping.

In September I'll be back at work and we'll have to wake up earlier and I assume he'll go to sleep earlier but I don't know. I'd like to start implementing some kind of a routine but that would mean waking him up in the morning - because I think an earlier wake up might get him tired earlier. I always thought my child would be in bed by like 7pm or something at this age and I'm really not sure how to make this happen. Is is just the way DS is? Maybe because it's summer he stays up with the sun? I don't know.

 

Last night he fell asleep (by car ride since nursing didn't work) around 9:30pm. The other thing is he'll be in daycare in September and I'd like to start to get him used to a routine... we're still just relying on his cues. What should my first step be?

 

Other info that may help - we co-sleep, he nurses through the night, nurses what seems like every hour in the early morning hours - I am starting to worry he's not getting quality sleep. He's not cranky in the day, he's calm and happy - but I never feel well rested so I assume he can't either. He naps twice a day at no particular times for no particular lengths of time at this point.


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Old 07-21-2011, 04:10 PM
 
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Hello!  Wow!  You're baby sure likes the night life!  My son's bedtime has been pushed back 30-60 min. because of all the sunshine, but that's it.  It must be a lot of work for you.  Rhythm to the day will surely help both of you.

 

I'm definitely no expert here, but wanted to suggest a few things.  First, you mention that your DS will be going to daycare in 2 months.  If you know which daycare he is attending, perhaps talking with the staff is a good idea.  You can find out when they eat, play, and sleep.  Then, you can SLOWLY start adopting this rhythm at home.  I think working on this gradually is key.  If the change is too drastic, it may be confusing to his system (eg. like going to bed at 8 when he stayed up until 11 the night before.)  So, you may want to try shifting his sleep by 15-30 min. or so each day and see how he does with this until you get to the "desired time".  I've read about shifting schedules this way, but have never had a need to do it myself.  Usually when my DS wakes early, his (one) nap is then earlier.  I agree that waking him earlier may be the best way to start this.

 

I have a question - do you use motion when nursing him to sleep?  Rocking chair, holding him while swaying, or nursing in a sling/front carrier?  I'd recommend doing one or all if you want to try something else to avoid the car.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with any method in my opinion, but when you start working, I imagine you may be a little tired and not want to resort getting in the car again. 

 

And btw, your DS's night/morning nursing behavior is exactly like ours and my DS is 17 mo.  So, that seems normal to me.  When you start working again, maybe the morning nursing will become more precious smile.gif

 

Good luck!

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Old 07-22-2011, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply!

I did try to get him to sleep earlier last night but I only succeeded by 5 minutes... oh well, it's a start.

DS is still sleeping this morning, it's almost 9am. I'm considering waking him up but I don't know if I have the heart to, he just looks so peaceful.

We'll be doing a lot today so maybe today's activities will wear him out... i don't know. I've started recording his bed and nap times - I'm not sure what I'll do with the info but it makes me feel like I'm working towards a solution lol.

I nurse him to sleep lying down in bed but he will fall asleep in my carrier with me walking around.

And thanks for the daycare tip, I will definitely be getting information on what his days will be like and try to start implementing some of those changes at home.

Thanks again for responding.


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Old 07-24-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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The typical advice is to go from the waking time.

 

At 12 months a lot of kids will do a 2..3...4 pattern.

 

first nap 2 hours after waking

Second nap 3 hours after waking from that.

Bedtime 4 hours after waking from that.

 

For us that meant a 7am wakeup, a 9am nap, a 1ish nap and then a 7pm bedtime again.  At some point those 2 naps consolidate (can't remember when).

 

7am waking time is pretty standard I think.  Give or take an hour.  If I were you I'd start by getting the mornings going at a decent hour.  


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Old 08-02-2011, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The one day, since I made the original post, that we had an early start (6:30am) went just like you said with the 2, 3, 4 pattern. He went to sleep between 7pm and 8pm and then he was up from 11:30pm to 1:30am and then didn't wake up till the late morning the next day. I'm not a night person so this scheduling of late nights wasn't of my doing, I was just following his cues and putting him to sleep when he was tired and letting him wake up on his own. Did you have to wake your LO up at 7am or did that just happen naturally?
 

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Originally Posted by D_McG View Post

The typical advice is to go from the waking time.

 

At 12 months a lot of kids will do a 2..3...4 pattern.

 

first nap 2 hours after waking

Second nap 3 hours after waking from that.

Bedtime 4 hours after waking from that.

 

For us that meant a 7am wakeup, a 9am nap, a 1ish nap and then a 7pm bedtime again.  At some point those 2 naps consolidate (can't remember when).

 

7am waking time is pretty standard I think.  Give or take an hour.  If I were you I'd start by getting the mornings going at a decent hour.  



 


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Old 08-03-2011, 05:14 AM
 
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It happened naturally I think.  But if worked for us and we planned our days accordingly.  I guess sometimes I would wake him at that time if we had to be somewhere, or whatever.  


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Old 08-04-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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OMG this is us too!! I am too embarrassed to tell people that DD is frequently up until midnight. I put her down at 8-9, and she treats it as a nap! No matter what time we wake her up in the morning, no matter how much activity, no matter if I am going to bed at 9 - she is UP and there's nothing at all I can do about it.  I feel like I screwed up royally, but she's happy and healthy and developing beautifully.  She's not usually tired or cranky unless it's right before she goes down for a nap/sleep.  You are not alone, but I don't know what the heck the answer is!


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